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Southeast Asia is a street-foodie's paradise. But there are some fine restaurants be to checked out too
Le Malraux restaurant in Siem Reap is a tribute to Cambodia's French era
Le Malraux restaurant in Siem Reap is a tribute to Cambodia's French era

1. LA MAISON 1888 Da Nang
This restaurant alone is worth the trip to Vietnam. Celebrated French-born chef, Michel Roux, whose abundant accolades include three Michelin stars each for his other two restaurants (The Waterside Inn is the first outside France to have retained its stars for twenty-five years), transformed the port city of Da Nang&rsquos foodscape when he opened La Maison 1888 in the Intercontinental hotel. Everything about the place is painstakingly exquisite, from the setting &mdash reminiscent of a vintage French mansion &mdash to the menu, where classic French food is infused with Asian flavours to superb results. Pork belly served with lentils grilled tender rabbit fillets with Armagnac sauce scallops with carrot pur&eacutee and tamarind sauce fish ve&shyloute with coconut milk and lemongrass &mdash this is fine-dining at its finest (

2. MAKPHET Vientiane
A small restaurant with a big heart, the award winning, Miele Guide-rated Makphet is run by Friends-International to contribute to the needs of the street children in Laos. They also employ homeless youth to cook and serve. That said, it&rsquos also one of the top dining experiences to be had in the country. Literally translating into &lsquochilli&rsquo, Makphet is an unassuming, friendly place that offers Laotian cuisine with a creative twist on several dishes. Portions are hearty, food is freshly prepared (if you are restless waiting at your table, you can take a quick peek into their adjoin&shying boutique that sells stuff to support their cause), flavours are bold, often spicy and the presentation is unfussy. Make sure you try their cocktails and the mango and black sticky rice dessert (

3. SARONG Bali
Located in Bali&rsquos tourist hotspot, Kuta, Sarong&rsquos inspiration is the street food from various corners of Asia. The creation of chef Will Meyrick (who has had immense success with multiple res&shytaurants across the Asia-Pacific region), Sarong&rsquos restaurant and atmospheric outdoor lounge has been pulling in the crowds ever since it opened in 2008. Coloured in warm shades of cream and brown with flickering candles and comfy couches, the place makes you feel right at home. The eclec&shytic menu trots across Asia, gathering flavours from India, China, Thailand, Vietnam and, of course, Indonesia butter chicken and tandoori kababs sit alongside kung pao chicken, Wagyu beef and Viet&shynamese caramelized duck. Bear in mind, though, that the restaurant opens only in the evenings (

4. DON&rsquoS Hanoi
In the four years that this multi-cuisine bistro has been serving food, it has acquired quite a name (and more than a few accolades) for itself. For starters, the view is fabu&shylous of Hanoi&rsquos serene West Lake. The menu is impressive too, mainly for the fact that it serves everything &mdash from traditional Vietnamese and American to pizzas, burgers, Italian favourites, Asian fusion and more &mdash and manages to get it all spectacularly right. There&rsquos even an oyster bar, a wine cellar and a cigar den (

What is octaphilosophy It&rsquos Unique and Pure. It&rsquos Texture, Mem&shyory and Salt. It&rsquos South and Artisan. It&rsquos Terroir. It&rsquos Restaurant Andre. Taiwanese chef, André Chiang, combined his two loves &mdash cook&shying and art &mdash and created a whole new dining experience, the bedrock for which are these eight culinary aspects. Each course is an expres&shysion of one such characteristic pure could mean the pure flavours of seafood salt could be represented by oysters south could be an ode to the fresh flavours of the south of France (incidentally Chiang spent several years training in this region) texture could arrive in the form of lobster with gnocchi and caviar&hellipand so on. The setting is lovely too &mdash within a historic terrace house in lively Chinatown (

6. ANTONIO&rsquoS Tagaytay
Elegance is the keyword here &mdash from the sunlit, high-ceilinged space amid lush greenery, the polished wooden floors and classy furniture, to the tasteful table arrangements and of course the food. Antonio &lsquoTony Boy&rsquo Escalante set up his eponymous res&shytaurant in 2002 on his own farm in the verdant hills of Tagaytay, Philippines to indulge his two passions &mdash creating fine food and bringing happiness to his loved ones. Today, he clearly brings 
joy to a much wider audience. The menu is French-inspired and favourites include pan-fried visayan sole with meuni&egravere sauce, Angus prime roast beef with truffle mashed potatoes and black tiger prawns with sweet paprika. Ingredients, of course, are farm fresh. Interestingly, Antonio&rsquos love for breakfasts prompted him to open another restaurant, Breakfast at Antonio&rsquos, devoted to this essential meal (

7. LE MALRAUX Siem Reap
This former brewery-turned-res&shytaurant is a tribute to Cambodia&rsquos French era, starting with its slightly odd appellation &mdash after Frenchman André Malraux, who among other things is rec&shyognised for plundering many temples, including Angkor Wat. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is cheery &mdash set in a historic building with art deco interiors exposed brick walls, ornate lanterns, stylish wooden furniture and a well-stocked bar. And while you may imagine this as a purely French restaurant, Le Malraux describes its cuisine as Asian fusion with a section dedicated to Cambodian spe&shycialities such as fish amok with coconut milk and rice and beef lok lak (

8. NAHM Bangkok
You&rsquod think that the best Thai recipes in Bangkok belonged to their indigenous chefs, right Wrong. Australian-born chef, David Thompson, has the winning formula in Nahm &mdash the younger sibling of the Michelin-star Nahm in London (incidentally the first Thai cuisine restaurant to receive this honour). Located in the pulsating heart of Bangkok&rsquos central business district, within the glamorous Metropolitan hotel, the restaurant focuses on bringing alive the big, bold flavours of traditional, even obscure or long-forgotten, Thai dishes. Expect the unexpected salted thread fin perch with green mango on betel leaves toasted coconut with watermelon and mango snake gourd soup salted duck eggs&hellipyou don&rsquot know Thai food till you&rsquove eaten here (

9. MOZAIC Bali
Down the road from Ubud&rsquos main shopping drag, Mozaic&rsquos discreet entrance is easy to overlook. But step inside and you know you&rsquore in someplace special. Not only because Mozaic&rsquos &uumlber trendy d&eacutecor &mdash clean contemporary lines, glittering mirrors and chandeliers, careful plant arrangements &mdash stands apart from that of every other grungy eatery around. It&rsquos also the service, courteous and welcoming, which begins even before you step in. And then there&rsquos the dining experience four six-course tasting menus that beautifully fuse Eastern and European flavours and change depending on seasonal ingredi&shyents and the chef&rsquos inspiration. You can look forward to foie gras and caviar, truffles and rabbit, fine French cheese and baby lamb, mostly with a Balinese twist. All washed down with fine wine, paired by the chef himself (

10. CILANTRO Kuala Lumpur
It holds the distinction of being Malaysia&rsquos best restaurant, which is quite an achievement given that it doesn&rsquot even serve the universally favoured indig&shyenous cuisine. Chef Takashi Kimura marries two of the world&rsquos greatest cuisines &mdash French and Japanese &mdash to bring to the table his version of contemporary fine dining. You have three dining options here &mdash to go with either the three- or four-course fixed menu, the degustation menu (for a minimum of two) or order à la carte. Whatever you choose, you won&rsquot be disap&shypointed. Not when you have dishes like unagi with foie gras, grain-fed lamb rack with houba miso, braised ox tongue with madeira and chestnut creme br&ucircl&eacutee. And don&rsquot forget to ask for their black truffle butter (

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